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  1. #1
    Caro's Avatar
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    Default When to harvest fennel?

    Hi all,

    I have lovely feathery fennel growing away happily in my new raised bed. I realise I can snip the frondy bits off and use in cooking, but when can I harvest the actual bulb? When will I be able to tell if they're ready? Also, if it's the bulb I really want, can I restrict vertical growth of the leaves so that they don't shade anything else (newbie error, planted in the wrong place )

    Also, a couple of years ago, I planted fennel in what was a poor attempt at a herb patch. However, the fennel there has thrived and is huge this year. When can I harvest this lot, and will it have divided into several bulbs?

    Many thanks

    Caro

  2. #2
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    The fennel you eat - you should be able to see the bulb above the soil, once it gets to a size you think you want to eat it, cut it level with the soil, then you should get some shoots off whats left to eat too, but they won't form new bulbs. Don't cut the foliage down, but you can probably stake it and tie them in a bit.

    The herb fennel - it has a long taproot, and I'm not sure whether you can propogate from that, probably better off just sowing more seeds for next year. It won't divide into bulbs but you can use the roots and every other bit of it too. You can harvest it whenever you feel like, either the fronds for cooking, or leave it to seed for the seeds.

  3. #3
    Rocketron is online now Tuber
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    Unless you're growing Florence fennel, you won't get bulbs. If you are you will see them forming above the soil and you can choose when you think they are large enough.
    No need to restrict height as the stems and fronds don't get wide enough to cause shade.

  4. #4
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    Are you sure you're growing the right type of fennel? Florence fennel is what you need for bulbs

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caro View Post
    Also, a couple of years ago, I planted fennel in what was a poor attempt at a herb patch. However, the fennel there has thrived and is huge this year. When can I harvest this lot, and will it have divided into several bulbs?


    That sounds like Fennel Herb and not Florence Fennel !!
    The proof of the growing is in the eating.
    Leave Rotten Fruit.
    Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potasium - potash.
    Autant de têtes, autant d'avis!!!!!
    Il n'est si méchant pot qui ne trouve son couvercle.

  6. #6
    taff's Avatar
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    eating fennel/florence fennel
    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/33/61...a0198992_m.jpg

    herb fennel
    http://www.schoolsliaison.org.uk/200...rbs/fennel.jpg
    [you can just about see the flowers on the top]

  7. #7
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    I am growing Florence fennel for the first time. It is growing fine but is starting to flower while not yet having developed a bulb at the base. Will it do so, or has it bolted and will now not produce a bulb ?

  8. #8
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    I don't think it's going to bulb up if it's starting to flower. This usually happens to me - lots of top growth then straight to seed.

    I have a few this year that are actually bulbing up
    Last edited by SMS6; 22-07-2009 at 11:21 PM.

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